Not-for-profit (nonprofit and tax exempt organizations) in United States

Loeb & Loeb LLP

Loeb & Loeb LLP's market leading non-profits practice is considered by many, the 'go-to' for all tax-exempt organisations work, and is able to leverage its wider firm capabilities across trusts and estates, litigation, and financings, to provide the full-service. Housed in New York, the group is skilled in the full range of complex regulatory matters and federal audits including IRS audits and internal investigations. In Los Angeles, practice head Leah Bishop is the name for tax planning matters, with strength across the real estate, manufacturing, and entertainment industries. She is supported by Stuart Tobisman who handles estate planning for individuals. On the east coast, co-heads Jason Lilien in New York and Diara Holmes in Washington DC advise large public charities and private foundations on corporate governance and transactional mandates. The wider team also includes Marcus Owens who specialises in complex audits, having previously being based at the Internal Revenue Service.

Practice head(s):

Diara Holmes; Jason Lilien; Leah Bishop

Other key lawyers:

Marcus Owens; Stuart Tobisman


‘The fact that Marc Owens literally ran the Exempt Organization Division of IRS makes them hugely attractive for this kind of work. Not only did Marc and Neil at Loeb & Loeb help fix that, they did so in record time, since they knew how to poke and prod the IRS bureaucracy in a way to achieve success, especially in the face of unprecedented headwinds created by the pandemic. Marc and co. literally saved our organization, and we owe them an eternal debt of gratitude.’

‘The lawyers in the not-for-profit group of Loeb have an amazing amount of technical and practical experience. They can tell you how many angels are dancing on the head of a pin and also tell you what makes sense in the real world. ’

‘I think the entire practice group is excellent. Diara Holmes is a standout. She’s got over 20+ years of experience. Diara is an incredibly accessible, but still incredibly technically gifted. It’s rare to get both in one person.’


Key clients


Mother Cabrini Health Foundation

New York State Catholic Health Plan (Fidelis Care)

Perenchio Foundation

Disinformation Index

Whistleblower Aid

Conservation Fund


Oceana Action

Educational Housing Services

The Go Fund

League Education and Treatment Center

Empire State Development

Work highlights

  • Advising the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and its affiliated NAACP National Voter Fund.
  • Counseled the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, on the development and implementation of the Coronavirus Emergency Support Grant program, which provided $50 million to support charities and their frontline workers in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Advised New York State Catholic Health Plan (Fidelis Care) on the $3.75 billion sale of Fidelis Care to Centene Corporation.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP maintains its 'top-shelf' reputation in the tax-exempt organizations space, and excels in all aspects of tax matters, governance issues, and corporate transactions for non-profits. Based in Washington DC the practice is managed by market leaders Celia Roady who is highlighted as the 'dean of the non-profit bar'. The group operates within the firm's larger global tax practise based in Silicon Valley, and is able to leverage expertise to advise large non-profit clients on tax compliance and audits. Also recommended in the team is Alexander Reid, a contact for planning and structuring transactional matters for tax-exempt organizations. The core team also includes experienced associates Caroline Waldner who counts funds and trade associations as clients, and corporate contact Shira Helstrom who advises on mergers, acquisitions, and  joint ventures. Miranda Lindl O’Connell in the San Francisco office is the contact for investment management matters. Other niche areas for the group include cyber security and data privacy. Tomer Inbar and Megan Bell joined the firm from Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP in March 2021, but Matthew Elkin left for Baker & Hostetler LLP in August 2021.

Practice head(s):

Celia Roady

Other key lawyers:

Caroline Waldner; Shira Helstrom; Miranda Lindl O’Connell; Tomer Inbar; Megan Bell; Alexander Reid


‘Morgan Lewis is top shelf. Celia Roady provides unparalleled advice in the nonprofit sector. Their knowledge of nonprofit and tax law is first rate, as you would expect. Their ability to provide practical and strategic advice based upon decades of experience, a broad base of exceptional clients in the nonprofit space, deep corporate law experience, and leadership in forward thinking seminars on critical issues is unparalleled. Because their practice is part of a larger integrated Firm, they can also quickly and efficiently bring to bear broad ranges of expertise, from cutting edge #metoo/workplace discrimination advice/litigation to federal legislative concerns.’

Celia Roady has to be the dean of the non-profit bar. I value her wise counsel, in addition to her expertise of non-profit and tax law, above all others. Her accessibility is amazing, and her commitment to getting to the right answers for her clients is outstanding. Truly gifted at giving C Suite and board level advice.

Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP

Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP has a market leading practice with ‘depth and breadth in not-for-profit law that exists at only a very few law firms’. The New York-based group is led by Laura Butzel who is singled out by clients for her ability to advise on the full gamut of matters including tax, corporate transactions, employment law, and litigation. The practice has a ‘stellar‘ team of seasoned practitioners including Robin Krause, who handles governance projects and grant-making for both domestic and international clients and John Sare. Also in the core team is counsel Janine Shissler who is noted for her experience advising on structuring multi-party financings. The group counts international philanthropic organizations and leading public charities as key clients.

Practice head(s):

Laura Butzel

Other key lawyers:

Robin Krause; Rich Upton; John Sare; Janine Shissler


‘The team has depth and breadth in not-for-profit law that exists at only a very few law firms around the nation, and I would put Patterson Belknap on par or above any that have similarly devoted practice areas. While all those law firms have lawyers who know the law, Patterson Belknap’s lawyers also know our organization. Not just missions and strategies, but culture, risk tolerances, and vision. They go beyond the law in understanding our objectives and why we want to achieve them, which very often gives us opportunities to receive meaningful insights and ways forward.’

Laura Butzel is an incredible resource. The depth and breadth of her understandings of the law and our enterprise mean that she is regularly able to give advice and perspective very quickly. She patiently asks probing questions to make sure that she understands the context, and she listens insightfully as I provide context and offer preliminary understandings and thoughts about issues, their weight and priority, and solutions thereto, when I think I have them. Not only does she know and understand but she makes sure that I know and understand. She is as much an educator as she is a counselor at law. Laura is also very clear about when she wants to draw on Patterson’s extensive resources, her other colleagues, either because an issue is novel or may not have arisen for awhile.’

Robin Krause and Rich Upton are all stellar and follow in the same pattern as Laura, who is the person I have the most contact with. Each of them, and the team, continues a long, proud, and knowledgeable legacy of the extraordinary, groundbreaking lawyers who came before them: Chauncey Belknap, Bob Ferguson, and more recently Antonia Grumbach and Shelly Korman. As such, Patterson has not only depth and breadth but also history and decades upon which to draw.

‘Special mention to Jeff LaGueux. Jeff does not practice not-for-profit law; he serves investment and financial services needs. In that capacity, though, he is an extraordinary resource and provides highest quality services for our not-for-profit enterprise, both with regard to our pure investment activities (e.g., venture, hedge, private equity, etc.) but he does likewise for our charitable/programmatic efforts in the investment space.’

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP's New York-based team has an excellent track record in the tax-exempt area and provides a full-service offering to clients, leveraging its firm wide capabilities across intellectual property and litigation. David Shevlin leads the practice group which has strength in corporate tax issues, governance matters, and transactions for not-for-profit organizations, including private foundations and public charities. The core team includes senior counsel Jennifer Franklin who focuses on charitable gift-planning, particularly structuring endowment fund gifts. Newly elevated senior counsel John Bennet  advises clients on investment activities and ongoing operational matters. Maura Whelan handles domestic and international grant-making matters. On the associate level, Jennifer Obus also supports the workload. The group provides significant international coverage - advising foreign charities on grant-making rules.

Practice head(s):

David Shevlin

Other key lawyers:

Jennifer Franklin; John Bennett; Maura Whelan; Jennifer Obus

Work highlights

  • Representation of the David and Lucile Packard foundation and the John D. and Catherine T.  MacArthur Foundation in connection with investments in PRIME Impact Equity Fund I, LLC.
  • Representation of Maimonides Fund in its COVID relief program – the Jewish Community  Response and Impact Fund, which is a $90 million plus interest-free loan and grant program providing financial relief to communal organizations to survive the pandemic.
  • Representation of the Blackstone Chairman and CEO Stephen A. Schwarzman’s foundation in  connection with the foundation’s £150 (US$188) million grant to Oxford University.

Venable LLP

Venable LLP's non-profit organisations practice is housed primarily in Washington, DC, and covers the full gamut of matters spanning complex taxation matters and corporate governance issues. Practice head Cynthia Lewin advises clients on compliance, tax litigation and transactional matters, alongside co-chair George Constantine who has experience advising public charities and advocacy groups on governance issues, and lobbying and political activity. The core team includes Baltimore based Robert Waldman; key contact for international philanthropy and wealth planning measures, and Yosef Ziffer who handles charitable giving. On the litigation side, Eric Berman is of note, handling enforcement actions brought by federal regulators against charitable organizations and professional fundraisers. Counsel Lindsay Nathan in New York advises political groups and non-profits on federal, and local law, and regulatory issues.

Practice head(s):

Cynthia Lewin; George Constantine

Other key lawyers:

Robert Waldman; Yosef Ziffer; Eric Berman; Lindsay Nathan

Key clients

Academy of Television Arts & Sciences

American Bar Association

American Cancer Society

Common App

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

National Retail Federation

US Travel and Tourism Association

Project Management Institute

Volunteers of America

The Y (YMCA)

Work highlights

  • Represented Entertainment Industry Foundation in its production of the “Graduate Together” program, which aired on all major television networks on May 16, 2020.
  • Worked on at least a dozen mergers, acquisitions, and combinations this year, helping non-profit clients streamline their operations and broaden their reach. These included deals involving the American College of Cardiology, the American Physical Therapists Association, Finseca, LeadingAge, and many more.

Adler & Colvin

Well-regarded boutique practice Adler & Colvin continues to impress in the not-for-profit sector. Housed in San Francisco, the team is 'fantastic' according to peers in handling corporate tax matters, international charitable transactions, and charitable planning. Robert Wexler is the main contact in the group and focuses on tax planning for social enterprises. Clients include religious institutions, and public and private foundations.

Practice head(s):

Robert Wexler

Proskauer Rose LLP

Proskauer Rose LLP's 'phenomenal' full-service not-for-profit practice is skilled in corporate tax issues, domestic and international tax planning matters, and transactions. Practice head Amanda Nussbaum in New York advises on structuring joint ventures and tax-free M&A work for exempt organisations, whilst David Miller handles day-to-day operational matters for public charities and private foundations. Employment lawyer Seth Safra  in Washington, DC is the contact for non-profits on deferred compensation, equity and other incentive arrangements. The group retains its strength in the sports and healthcare sectors, counting the Pac 12 and the Hospital for Special Surgery among its key clients. On the corporate side, Lauren Boglivi is singled out by clients for her transactional expertise.

Practice head(s):

Amanda Nussbaum

Other key lawyers:

Seth Safra; David Miller; Lauren Boglivi


They approach with human-centered designBilling is reasonable and creative for smaller nonprofits.’

Proskauer represented us in a $1B+ transaction and the team was phenomenal. Lauren Boglivi knows transactions and works with clients really well.’

David Lederkramer, Seth Fuir, Amanda Nussbaum and Ira Bogner; all of them fit the bill.’

Key clients

The Brooklyn Hospital Center

Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI)

The Eclipse Foundation

Greater New York Hospital Association

Hospital for Special Surgery

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Montefiore Medical Center

Mount Sinai Health System

Power Five athletic conference (Pac 12, Big Ten, Big 12, ACC, and SEC)

Rockefeller University

Public Internet Registry

Jewish Communal Fund

Work highlights

  • Serve as outside general counsel to this global health organization founded by President Clinton. We have assisted them in contractual arrangements with pharmaceutical and medical device companies to access medication and laboratory equipment in Africa, as well as in employment, immigration, and health care matters.
  • Continue to serve long-standing client, Hospital for Special Surgery, as their primary outside counsel. Including in connection with their response to COVID-19, including advising them regarding telehealth issues.
  • Represented the so-called “Power 5 Conferences” (Pac 12, Big Ten, Big 12, ACC and SEC) in the trial of a high-profile class action brought by current and former NCAA Division I football and basketball players.

Ropes & Gray LLP

At Ropes & Gray LLP, the tax-exempt organizations practice is largely based out of Boston and holds a number of leading higher educational and medical institutions as key clients. Overseen by tax partner Kendi Ozmon, the group has considerable experience advising on corporate governance matters, transactional mandates, and employee benefits. It also has an integrated healthcare interface which can service academic medical centres and hospitals across privacy and licensing issues. Associate Franziska Hertel advises on tax controversy matters, and maintains a busy pro-bono practice. In Washington, DC, Counsel Carolyn Ward is the name for endowments, advising non-profits on lobbying and political activity, and corporate transactions, whilst Gil Ghatan handles the corporate aspects of mergers and dissolutions for private foundations.

Practice head(s):

Kendi Ozmon

Other key lawyers:

Franziska Hertel; Carolyn Ward; Gil Ghatan

Key clients

University of Southern California

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care

National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO)

U.S. Fund for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis

Catalyst Institute

Stanford University

Work highlights

  • Advised University of Southern California (USC), a leading research university, on the structuring and formation of a new health care system, involving the creation of a new parent entity and two new hospital subsidiaries, as well as applications for tax-exempt status for all entities.
  • Represent NACUBO and a coalition of colleges and universities impacted by the new Section 4968 excise tax on net investment income in preparing comments for the Treasury and IRS to assist with interpretation of the statute and the development of guidance.
  • Represented the Catalyst Institute, Inc., the non-profit parent of a national integrated dental care delivery and finance system, in its sale to a private equity sponsor of a minority interest in its subsidiary, DentaQuest Group, Inc.

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

At Seyfarth Shaw LLP, the tax-exempt organisations practice is predominantly based in Los Angeles, and in addition to tax, handles a range of issues including, governance, and regulatory compliance for clients operating in the higher education and healthcare sectors. Overseen by Ofer Lion who practises exclusively in tax-exempt and non-profits, the group has vast skill in transactional tax work, joint-ventures, and fiduciary matters. Co-chair Douglas Mancino who is rated by peers, handles healthcare-related work and has extensive expertise in audits, and tax controversies, including tax litigation. In New York, key contact Richard Schwartz assists tax-exempt organisations such as large hospitals and medical systems on employee benefits and compensation plans. The team is able to leverage its wider firm capabilities including real estate, IP, and litigation.

Practice head(s):

Ofer Lion; Douglas Mancino

Other key lawyers:

Alan Yoshitake; Richard Schwartz


‘Seyfarth’s work has always been top notch and well done.’

‘The attorneys I work with are very knowledgeable and always up to date on what the rules are and planning ideas.’


Key clients

YMCA of Orange County

Northwell Health

University Hospitals Health System, Inc.

Montefiore Medical Center

Ultimate Medical Academy

Florida Non-Profit Housing, Inc.

University of Redlands

Gary Sinise Foundation

Citizens of the World Charter Schools

The Jack and Laura Dangermond Conservation Foundation

SCAN Health Plan

Work highlights

  • Represented a private university in California in a $100+ million strategic partnership between an online division of a public research and land-grant university in Amherst, Massachusetts and a private university with over 25 campuses throughout California and Washington and a virtual campus online.
  • Serving as one of the key outside tax-exempt counsel to a public university in California on a variety of matters, including UBIT structuring of real estate investments.
  • Advised Ultimate Medical Academy with respect to ongoing administration of 401(k) retirement plan, and particular involvement with three  year compliance audit of the plan.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP's non-profits team is housed within the firm's healthcare practice and excels in all aspects of corporate governance matters, large restructurings, and transactional work for tax-exempt organisations. Based largely out of New York, the group is jointly led by Los Angeles-based David Ulich and Tamar Rosenberg in New York, and holds various religious institutions, public charities, and medical centres as clients. Tax transactional lawyer Jay Gerzog has over three decades of experience advising clients in the healthcare sector, whilst Amanda Zablocki, who was elevated to the partnership in 2020, remains a key contact for regulatory matters for healthcare sector clients. She also has an active pro-bono practice for non-profits.

Practice head(s):

David Ulich; Tamar Rosenberg 

Other key lawyers:

Amanda Zablocki; Jay Gerzog

Key clients

Albert Einstein College of Medicine

American Arbitration Association

Animal Legal Defense Fund and Animal Legal Defense Legislative Fund

Annenberg Foundation

Archdiocese of New York

Dwight D. Opperman Foundation


Fire Family Foundation

Foundation for Global Sports Development

Independent Sector

The Rotary Club of Los Angeles (“LA5 Rotary”) and the Rotary Club of Los Angeles Foundation

Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital

Molina Healthcare, Inc.

Montefiore Medicine Academic Health Center

Mount Sinai Health System

National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)

New York City Health + Hospitals Corporation & MetroPlus

One Brooklyn Health System

Ounce of Prevention Fund No

Para la Naturaleza and the Conservation Trust Fund of Puerto Rico

Pollyanna, Inc.

Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange County

SOMOS Healthcare Providers, Inc.

St. Charles Health System

The Wallis Annenberg Legacy Foundation

Visiting Nurse Service of New York

Yale New Haven Health System

Work highlights

  • Obtained tax exemption for Effective Law Enforcement For All (ELE4A), a new nonprofit organization founded by a Sheppard Mullin partner, David Douglass, in D.C, whose mission is to partner with community, civic and law enforcement leaders to re-invent their police departments to achieve a shared vision of safe and effective policing.
  • Conducted a broad range of nonprofit corporate, tax-exempt, health regulatory, transactional, property tax exemption and other work for Montefiore Medicine Academic Health System.
  • Advised Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange County, California, spanning across nonprofit, corporate, tax, employment and finance.

Steptoe & Johnson LLP

Steptoe & Johnson LLP's non-profits practice is based largely out of Washington DC, and provides corporate tax, compliance, and transactional expertise to tax-exempt organisations. Overseen by Suzanne McDowell who is singled out by peers for her skill, the group is able to leverage its strong estate planning practice based in New York to advise private foundations on charitable giving matters; Beth Tractenberg and Jasmine Campiride are the key names there. Co-chair  Catherine Wilkinson is the name for federal investigations and audits. The team has strengthened its offering with the return of Elinor Ramey who joined after a year with the US Treasury Department, so bringing federal experience across the regulatory space.

Practice head(s):

Suzanne McDowell; Catherine Wilkinson; Elinor Ramey

Other key lawyers:

Beth Tractenberg; Jasmine Campiride


‘They have expressed their pleasure at serving our organization and we have found their counsel to be superb. The broad team of attorneys that has worked with our organization is readily available to meet by teleconference to better understand any complex issues and advise on the matter. ’

‘Ed Krauland will always immediately respond to our inquiries and advise us of the timeline for delivery, referring us to the best person available in the firm to handle our issue. Catherine Wilkinson has been a principal counsel on a variety of general matters, while Caroline Gaudet has worked tirelessly with our team over three years on our facilities leases and related projects. Many others have counseled on personnel, contractual, and other business matters.’

Key clients

American Institute of Physics

Wounded Warrior Project

Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires (INSEAD)

PACT, Inc.

American Astronomical Society

Battelle Memorial Institute

Art Students League of New York

National Congress of American Indians

Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences

Chicago Public Media (WBEZ)

National Association of Convenience Stores

Federal Reserve Bank of NY

World Wildlife Fund

International Republican Institute

Work highlights

  • Serves as outside general counsel for the American Astronomical Society (AAS), advising on corporate governance and director fiduciary duties/potential liability issues.
  • Advised the National Congress of American Indians and its charitable affiliate NCAI Fund on tax compliance and governance of affiliated organizations including but not limited to review of contracts and grants between affiliated entities.
  • Serve as general counsel and legislative counsel to National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), and its roughly 2,200 members, on a broad spectrum of public policy issues.

Arent Fox LLP

Arent Fox LLP's tax-exempt practice is led by Washington DC-based litigator Brian Schneider and advises non-profits, trade associations, religious institutions, and public charities. The group handles real estate financing transactions, complex tax issues, and governance matters for clients, with core strength in high-value financings and acquisitions. Co-chair of the team and transactional lawyer Sean Glynn is the contact for financings for non-profits; he advises both lenders and borrowers on loan agreements. Also in the core practice is Richard Newman, who remains a key name for advising on tax-exempt financing and real estate matters. The team has offices across Boston, New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Practice head(s):

Brian Schneider; Sean Glynn

Other key lawyers:

Richard Newman

Key clients

Specialty Food Association

Institute for Defense Analyses

Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute

Provident Resources Group, Inc.

National Association of Broadcasters

Opportunity Finance Network

Glens Falls Hospital

Single Member LLC (SPE)

Washington Housing Conservancy

Work highlights

  • Advising the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) on the financing of its facilities in California, New Jersey, and Alexandria, Virginia. This includes both taxable and tax-exempt financing of both its existing facilities.
  • Advised the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute on its acquisition of two office condominiums to be used by the Institute as its DC headquarters.
  • Represented Provident Resources Group, Inc. in the leasing, financing and redevelopment of Axis f/k/a the Howard Center–an existing mixed use building owned by Howard University.

Arnold & Porter

Housed in Washington DC, Arnold & Porter's full-service tax-exempt organizations practice is experienced in advising non-profits and high-net-worth donors on tax issues, structuring grants, and regulatory matters. Overseen by James Joseph who also leads the firm's overall tax group, the team is experienced in acting for charitable organisations and private foundations on lobbying activities and political advocacy work. Counsel Amy Ryan works exclusively with non-profit and philanthropic organisations on high-value transactional mandates. Co-chair Bridget Weiss is noted for handling internal investigations and audits before the Internal Revenue Service for organizations. Cara Koss was elevated to the partnership.

Practice head(s):

James P. Joseph; Bridget Weiss

Other key lawyers:

Declan Tansey; Andras Kosaras

Key clients

Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation

Chan Zuckerberg Biohub

Time’s Up Now/Time’s Up Foundation

Goldman Sachs Foundation

Markle Foundation

Education Credit Management Corporation

Lieber Institute for Brain Development


James Beard Foundation

New Venture Fund

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP's multidisciplinary tax-exempt organizations practice is based in St. Louis and is jointly overseen by Keith Kehrer and Gino Serra in Kansas City. The group has a strong charitable planning and estates subgroup which advises on wealth transfer, administration, and tax/financial planning matters for clients including religious institutions, charitable trusts, and private foundations. Key contacts here include Doug Stanley in St. Louis. In Chicago, Mary Reichert who previously served as an IRS appeals officer is the contact for tax controversy and corporate restructuring matters for tax-exempt organisations. The team also advises on political lobbying matters.

Practice head(s):

Keith Kehrer; Gino Serra

Other key lawyers:

Doug Stanley; Mary Reichert


‘The lawyers with whom I work are incredibly responsive, knowledgeable and invested in addressing whatever my issue/situation is as quickly and collaboratively as possible. ’

‘I’ve been working with this team for quite a few years now and am always impressed with how current and knowledgeable they are about issues that impact my work. They often reach out to me pro-actively with information they believe will be impactful/helpful to my work, without any prompting from me. Great team members – happy to have them.’

‘Their non-profit expertise is amazing.’

‘Keith Kehrer is incredibly knowledgeable about nonprofits. He has helped us navigate the unique challenges of our organization. He effectively brokers other expertise within the firm when we need it.’


Key clients

Stowers Institute for Medical Research

Emerson Charitable Trust

USA Swimming

Build-A-Bear Foundation

Denver Health and Hospital Authority

X Prize Foundation

Missouri Botanical Garden


Dred Scott Heritage Foundation

Anheuser-Busch Foundation

United States Olympic Committee


Civic Progress

Russell Center for Innovation

Christo & Jeanne-Claude Foundation

Work highlights

  • Served as outside General Counsel to the Stowers Institute, Stowers Resource Management and other members of the Stowers Group of Company for more than two decades. Ongoing matters include governance, tax, employment, intellectual property, and day to day legal matters.
  • Serves as outside General Counsel to the Emerson Charitable Trust for decades. Ongoing matters include advice regarding the special rules impacting private foundations.
  • Served as outside General Counsel to USA Swimming for several decades. Ongoing matters include team matters, safe sport, governance, television, sponsorship and licensing,etc.

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

Seattle-based Davis Wright Tremaine LLP's tax-exempt organizations practice has a focus on servicing philanthropists and nonprofits across corporate tax matters, compliance, and governance issues. Overseen by Laverne Woods, the group is made up of counsel David Lawson, Marisa Meltebeke in Portland, and Dana Reid in San Francisco who handles  tax-exempt bond financing and refinancing transactions for public charities and private foundations.

Practice head(s):

Laverne Woods

Other key lawyers:

David Lawson; Marisa Meltebeke; Dana Reid

Farella Braun + Martel LLP

San Francisco-based Farella Braun + Martel LLP advises corporate foundations, charitable trusts and public charities across the west coast and beyond, on comprehensive tax planning, real estate matters, and employment law. Jointly headed by Barbara Murphy whose expertise is in philanthropic planning, and Cynthia Rowland; the practice also has an integrated family wealth, international tax, and private client offering to provide the full-service. Lauren Galbraith in the St. Helena office advises private foundations and public charities on formation and administrations matters.

Practice head(s):

Barbara Murphy; Cynthia Rowland

Other key lawyers:

Lauren Galbraith

Key clients

Beneficial State Foundation

Bently Foundation

Burning Man Project

California Health Care Foundation

Canobie Films Foundation

Color Foundation

Ginungagap Foundation

Holy Angels University and Friends of Holy Angels University

Leonard and Sophie Davis Fund

NextGen Action / NextGen America

Province of the Holy Name, Western Dominance Province

Satellite Healthcare, Inc.

Skywords Foundation

TomKat Foundation / TomKat Ranch Educational Foundation / Tom Steyer and Kat Taylor

Walt Disney Family Museum / Walt Disney Family Foundation

Wells Fargo Bank, Investment Trustee of the Buck Trust

Work highlights

  • Advise Burning Man Project, an arts festival organization and international arts movement, on corporate structure, tax compliance and property acquisition matters.
  • Representation of Wells Fargo Bank as Investment Trustee of the Buck Trust ($ 1 billion dollar trust) on all legal matters including tax and regulatory compliance.
  • Advise Walt Disney Family Foundation and Walt Disney Family Museum regarding museum structure, tax and regulatory compliance, and general matters.

McGuireWoods LLP

McGuireWoods LLP's tax-exempt organizations practice is housed in Richmond, and advises an array of clients across Virginia and the southeast; with key contact Michele McKinnon overseeing the team. The group holds  schools, universities, and charitable organizations as clients, and handles charitable gifts, estate planning and trust administration, and fiduciary litigation matters. Jean Gordon Carter in Raleigh is the name for corporate governance matters for non-profits, endowments, and fund-raising, whilst Bradley Ridlehoover in Richmond advises tax-exempt organizations on federal tax and governance issues. He also has a specialism in excess benefit transactions, and business tax rules. Elsewhere, head of tax and employee benefits Gerald V. Thomas II in Atlanta focuses on complex transactional tax matters.

Practice head(s):

Michele McKinnon; Gerald V. Thomas II

Other key lawyers:

Jean Gordon Carter; Bradley Ridlehoover


‘McGuire Woods has assembled an all-star team of some of the very best Not-For-Profit experts in the country. We work with a lot of law firms, big and small, on an annual basis and I have to say that McGuire Woods stands at the top in terms of expertise, value and client support. ’

‘The legal expertise is top notch, thorough and timely. Partner engagement is truly exceptional. The breadth of expertise is impressive, and our Trustees, OCIO and audit team have all reported high quality experiences working with the McGuire Woods team. ’

‘We work most closely with Michele McKinnon, and have done so for the past 15 years. Michele is accessible, professional, brilliant, results oriented, and always goes above and beyond to work with our team to address all issues that surface. I have referred her to more than 10 colleagues in the past two years, and all have reported that she has exceeded their expectations. ’

‘They have domain expertise, intellectual rigor, responsiveness, attention to client need and best interests’


Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP

Based in Philadelphia, Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP has a multidisciplinary team advising clients on corporate tax issues, transactions, and compliance matters. Led by Joseph Lundy who has over four decades of tax expertise, the group advises on IRS audits, restructuring matters, and tax-exempt financings for private foundations, national charities and philanthropic trusts. The team is able to leverage its firm-wide capacities in employment law, real estate, and litigation.

Practice head(s):

Joseph Lundy

Withers Bergman LLP

At Withers Bergman LLP, the tax-exempt organizations practice is housed within the larger private client and tax group and is skilled in advising both donors and charities. The group is headed by William Kambas in New York, and handles domestic and international gift planning matters, operational issues, and investments. The team comprises Alana Petraske who advises clients on fiscal, and regulatory issues, and Lawton Leung who handles international tax planning work. On the west coast, co-chair of the team Michael Brophy in California represents charities and trustees in litigation pertaining to estates. Key names include San Diego-based Steven Chidester who specialises in sanction issues and representing tax-exempt organizations in IRS audits. The group has bolstered its personal tax offering with new arrivals; Victoria Diaz and Whitney Barton who joined from Deloitte LLP and Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP respectively.

Practice head(s):

William “Bill” Kambas; Michael Brophy

Other key lawyers:

Steven Chidester; Alana Petraske; Lawton Leung; Victoria Diaz; Whitney Barton